Trndez or Candlemas Day
The Candlemas Day or in Armenian language – “Trndez” or “Tearnandarach” is occasionally celebrated in the night of February 13.
This is a celebration around “fire” and the worship of “fire” date back to Armenias pre-Christian culture. It happens to be the Armenian version of Valentines Day in the North American tradition.
The Trndez (Candlemas Day) was one of the most important holidays in ancient heathen Armenia. It was dedicated to the heathen God Myhr or Tyr (according to different opinions and legends). Tyr was the God of science and arts in heathen Armenia. He was symbolizing everything spiritual. Myhr was symbolizing also KINDNESS and LOVE.
Thus, by his essence MYHR was close to JESUS CHRIST.
Therefore it is not accidental that the Armenian Apostolic St. Church is still celebrating Candlemas Day. Although the content of it is connected with fire-worship, it is acceptable by the Apostolic ST. Church, and in many cases the fire is bunt in the churchs yard and it is blessed by the priest. Then each takes a piece of wood from that blessed fire (or in our days they light a candle) and takes to their places and keep till the next holiday – Trndez.
It happened so that in ancient Armenian villages (as the families were having many children) every home had either new married or engaged one. They all joined together and picked the wood then the priest of the village burned the big fire in the centre of the village, each took one of that burnt woods and rushed to their place to burn their own fire. This day the whole village was covered with fire turning into amazing scene.
As a rule they made a fire in the new engaged girls yard, and her mother-in-low and father-in-low visited their future bride bringing roasted grins of wheat, porridge made from the flour, sweets, scarf and ornaments. It was considered to be the part of future bride. According to the ancient Armenians rule the engaged man had no right to see his future wife during the period that they were engaged but in the holiday- Candlemas Day officially son-in-low visited to see her for the first time.
The legend goes on keeping that in ancient times they never put the end of fire, they let it burn till the end and they didnt throw away the carbonized wood indeed they took the carbonized wood home as it was supposed to have mythological power. For instance in summer they made crosses with that carbons believing that it would stop undesirable hail and rain. Or they crossed on their doors with those carbons in order to protect their home from the evil.
In this holiday, the new married man or the new engaged mans responsibility was to gather wood and make a fire. After this ceremony the new married couples were turning round the fire, it was supposed that the fire will bring fructification and will set free from the evil. By the fire was made the roasted grins of wheat, porridge made from the flour and very often it was served with the honey and thick syrup made from mulberries or grapes and the ceremony continued with dancing around the fire.
Naturally the citizens of Abovyan keep the tradition and celebrate it. The new married couples and recently engaged ones hurry to jump over the fire believing that itll take all the misfortune bringing happiness in return of it.